LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
The Legion on Live Action Television
» SEE ALSO: Animated Legion
On Smallville, a television show on The WB, then The CW network. Over ten seasons, the focus remained on Clark Kent's journey toward becoming Superman.
The series eventually introduced many other heroes who teamed as a league, including versions of Green Arrow, Aquaman, Impulse, Cyborg, Martian Manhunter, Black Canary and Zatanna.
One long-running plot thread involved the origin of Brainiac. At the beginning of season 5, this character came to Earth — also from Krypton — and possessed a succession of human bodies. This led toward season 8's eleventh episode, titled "Legion."
Three Legionnaires from the 31st century —Rokk Krinn (Ryan Kennedy), Imra Ardeen (Alexz Johnson) and Garth Ranzz (Calum Worthy) — pursued the Persuader to 21st century Smallville. But their true mission was to stop Brainiac at this key moment in time. Problem was, Brainiac had possessed Clark's best friend, Chloe Sullivan, and Imra claimed that killing Chloe was the only way to stop Brainiac.
They ultimately found a better way; Rokk used his magnetic powers to pull the microscopic nanites from Chloe's body and captured them inside a metal orb. They intended to reprogramming Brainiac and before departing, dubbed him "Brainiac 5."
They gave Clark a Legion ring, saying that if he "ever want[ed] to meet the rest of the Legion," it was programmed to take him to 3009.
The episode was written by Geoff Johns. The Legionnaires do not use code names.
Rokk returned later that season, in episode 22's "Doomsday." He advised Clark to send the monster called Doomsday into the future, where the Legion stood ready to battle him. Instead, Clark and other heroes used black kryptonite to split Doomsday from its human host (but not before it killed Jimmy Olsen).
Brainiac 5 (again played by James Marsters) later returned from the future as a friend to Clark. He used time travel to take Clark on a journey through his past, present, and future (in season 10, episode 4, "Homecoming"). Brainiac and Brainiac 5 on Smallville were never depicted with green-colored skin; it was always Caucasian.
The following is not a full chronology of the series. Instead, these entries follow the various super-heroes introduced in the series, including the Legion.
Sequence of Events
Issue / Date
Season 1, episode 1: "Pilot Episode" 1989 Smallville, Kansas: A meteor shower kills the parents of Lana Lang. Lex Luthor is nearly killed and left bald by a meteor. Farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent find a small boy amid the remains of a spaceship and name him Clark. The meteor shower leaves a legacy of weirdness in Smallville. As a freshman in Smallville High, Clark has discovered he has "special" abilities speed, strength, invulnerability. His best friends are Chloe Sullivan and Pete Ross Clark grows weak when near to a green stone that Lana wears in a necklace. Clark saves Lex Luthor's life after a car crash.
16 Oct. 2001
Season 4, episode 5 "Run" Clark meets a young man with super-speed: Bart Allen (aka Impulse, Kyle Gallner). In the credits, Bart is referred to as The Flash.
20 Oct. 2004
Season 5, episode 1: "Arrival" A second meteor shower hits Smallville, bringing a black ship that's collected by Luthorcorp. From inside emerges a black ooze that takes the form of a man (Brainiac, James Marsters)—a menace from Krypton foretold by Jor-El.
29 Sept. 2005
Season 5, episode 4: "Aqua" Brainiac takes the identity of Prof. Milton Fine, Clark's history teacher at Central Kansas A&M. Lois meets Arthur Curry, a superhuman swimmer.
20 Oct. 2005
Season Season 5, episode 5 "Thirst" Lex Luthor begins investigating Professor Fine and warns Clark to be wary of him.
27 Oct. 2005
Season Season 5, episode 7 "Splinter" Professor Fine reveals to Clark that he has super-powers, saying he's also from Krypton.
10 Nov. 2005
Season 5, episode 8: "Solitude" Professor Fine admits that he is an artificial intelligence, made by Kryptonians. Fine poisons Jor-El's name instead claiming that Zod was Krypton's only hero. He almost tricks Clark into releasing General Zod from the Phantom Zone. Fine and his ship disappear.
17 Nov. 2005
Season 5, episode 15: "Cyborg" Clark meets former high school football star, Victor Stone (aka Cyborg, Lee Thompson).
16 Feb. 2006
Season 6, episode 2: "Sneeze" Clark meets Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow, Justin Hartley), who once tormented Lex Luthor at bording school.
5 Oct. 2006
Season 6, episode 11: "Justice" Green Arrow assembles a team of costumed heroes with the Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and Chloe, to whom he refers as "Watchtower."
18 Jan. 2007
Season 6, episode 12: "Labyrinth" Shelby, Clark is aided unseen by John Jones (aka J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, Phil Morris) who helps him overcome a mental trap.
25 Jan. 2007
Season 6, episode 22: "Phantom" Clark meets J'onn J'onzz who says he worked for Jor-El on Krypton to capture criminals, and when Krypton was doomed, Jor-El asked J'onn to watch over Kal.
17 May 2007
Season 7, episode 1: "Bizarro" Kara Zor-El watches Clark Kent from afar, then flies into the sky over Smallville.
27 Sept. 2007
Season 7, episode 2 "Kara" Clark meets Kara, who is searching for Kal-El, but thinks he is still a small child. She cared for Kal on Krypton and arrived when he did but remained in suspended animation after the meteor shower. He invites her to stay on the farm.
4 Oct. 2007
Season 7, episode 3: "Fierce" Kara is chosen as Smallville's new Miss Sweet Corn. She and Clark find a Kryptonian artifact.
11 Oct. 2007
Season 7, episode 4: "Cure" The Martian Manhunter warns Clark against Kara, demonstraingfirsthand knowledge of Clark's infancy on Krypton, and the rivalry between Zor-El and Jor-El. She flies away in anger.
18 Oct. 2007
Season 8, episode 8: "Bloodline" Clark meets Kara again, in the Phantom Zone. They meet Faora, wife of Zod. Their son is Davis Bloome not born but engineered to be the ultimate Kryptonian destroyer. Oliver and Clark realize that Chloe's infection by Brainiac is becoming a danger. Kara departs for space.
6 Nov. 2008
Season 8, episode 11: "Legion." The Persuader appears in the Kents' barn from the 31st century. He is pursued by three Legionnaires from the 31st century appear in Smallville: Rokk Krinn, Imra Ardeen, and Garth Ranzz. They descirbe the Persuader as a member of the Human Supremacist movement in the future Rokk spots the Phantom Zone crystal that was used to capture Brainiac—the Persuader's target. Brainiac has possessed Clark's best friend, Chloe Sullivan. Imra meets Lana at the Isis Foundation and says that killing Chloe is the only way to stop Brainiac; if Brainiac survives then billions will die. Rok'k pulls the microscopic nanites from Chloe's body. The nanites flow from her mouth and are captured inside a metal orb. They intend to reprogramming him, dubbing it "Brainiac 5." They give Clark a Legion ring programmed to take him to 3009. NOTE: Written by Geoff Johns
15 Jan. 2009
Season 8, episode 22: "Doomsday" Cosmic Boy returns to warn Clark that this day is pivotal in history. He asks Clark to send Doomsday into the future where the Legion stands ready to battle him. Clark is joined by Black Canary and Impulse. They use black kryptonite to split Doomsday from his human host, but not before he kills Jimmy Olsen. Zod appears, holding the Brainiac orb.
14 May 2009
Season 9, episode 6: "Crossfire" People begin referring to Clark as "the Blur."
30 Oct. 2009
Season 10, episode 4: "Homecoming" A friendly Brainiac 5 (James Marsters) arrives from the 31st century and takes Clark on a journey through his past, present, and future.
15 Oct. 2010
Bart Allen (Impulse) dies in the battle to stop the Black Racer—a demon from the Speed Force. (#39)
Smallville Season 11 #26-39 (2012–13)
Part 1: When Booster Gold goes into battle against a monstrous snowman, his Legion flight ring rejects him and ceases functioning. Blue Beetle saves him and takes the glory. When Booster visits Clark, the Legion ring transports them to the 31st century. NOTE: This series was released digitally first. The three issues sub-arcs were issued in print as Smallville Season 11 #13-15 (2013).
Smallville Season 11 #42 (12 Apr. 2013)
Part 2: Skeets secures a building with a 1000 year lease, buries himself and reemerges in the 31st century. Lightning Lad and Brainiac 5 escape from the Earthgov. Clark learns that Earth has a new neighbor: New Krypton.
Smallville Season 11 #43 (19 Apr. 2013)
Part 3: The Legionnaires retreat with Clark and Booster to Smallville. A lost Kryptonian colony, Argo, has appeared and applied for membership to the United Planets. They descend from the Kandorians freed by Clark. When Clark propelled them across the universe, they took up residence on Argo and built a new society. Minister Kirt Niedrigh serves the xenophobic Earthgov, opposed to New Krypton and barely tolerating the Legion. Clark breaks into their base and discovers his cousin, Kara. NOTE: Unlike his other Legion appearances, Niedrigh aka Earth-Man does not appear to have super-powers.
Smallville Season 11 #44 (26 Apr. 2013)
Part 4: Six months ago, Kara took Clark's Legion ring and was greeted in the future by Brainiac 5 and taken in by the Legion. When Argo appeared, Supergirl led the diplomatic mission but it was sabotaged by someone in Earthgov. The Kryptonians use gravity buoys to travel through space between the planets. Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy go undercover to stop Earthgov spies on New Krytpon. They prevent an explosion and are met by an angry Eradicator Beh-Osk. Clark and Kara arrive and the Kryptonians bow to him. NOTE: Legionnaires appear in cameo: Dawnstar, Wildfire, Karate Kid, Ferro Lad, Star Boy.
Smallville Season 11 #47 (17 May 2013)
Part 5: Booster stole Clark's Legion ring from the museum where he worked, in the 25th century. Brainiac can find no reference to him in history. Clark discovers from the Chancellor Pa-Vel that they worship Faora. Saturn Girl gives the order to call in all Legionnaires.
Smallville Season 11 #48 (24 May 2013)
Part 6: Booster saves a blue-skinned, feral alien (described as Dumakan) from police. Faora and Zod experimented with DNA and the result was Davis Bloome, aka Doomsday. She was with child when he killed her. Earthgov has used the DNA of her unborn child to create a weapon, a new Doomsday. NOTE: The Dumakan is probably Catspaw, whose original name was April Dumaka.
Smallville Season 11 #49 (31 May 2013)
Part 7: Cosmic Boy addresses a large assembly of Legionnaires The new Doomsday is unleashed and war breaks out. NOTE: First Legionnaire appearances include Projectra, Timber Wolf, Shrinking Violet, Dream Girl, Invisible Kid, Phantom Girl, Ultra Boy, Sun Boy, Element Lad, Chameleon Boy, Bouncing Boy, and Triplicate Girl.
Smallville Season 11 #51 (14 June 2013)
Part 8: Kara leads the Legionnaires and Saturn Girl accompanies Clark to New Krypton to stop Doomsday. The Kryptonians' gravity bomb detonates above Earth.
Smallville Season 11 #52 (21 June 2013)
Part 9: Clark redirects the gravity buoys to the sun and takes Doomsday on a one-way trip. He intends to sacrifice himself as well. The Legion save him by forming a chain to help pull him free from the sun's gravity. Back on Earth, Clark runs into the young Bart Allen, running from his mother. The worlds begin making peace. Brainiac 5 returns Clark's Legion ring to him. Kara elects to stay, feeling at peace for the first time.
Smallville Season 11 #53 (28 June 2013)
The Arrowverse (DC on The CW)
The CW network launched a series of television shows starring DC Comics characters, beginning with Arrow, in 2012. This led to a pseudo-franchise that included The Flash (2014), Supergirl (2015), DC's Legends of Tomorrow (2016), Black Lightning (2018) and Batwoman (2019), and other animated shorts distributed online.
Once the first three shows were airing simultaneously, The CW began coordinating crossover events, or storylines that crossed over from one show to the next. These events mirrored well-known DC comic book events: "Crisis on Earth-X" and "Elseworlds."
The Flash (2014–)
The world of Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow is designated Earth-1. The Legionnaire XS was a recurring character on The Flash television series. In comics, the character was the granddaughter of the 20th century Flash, Barry Allen. But on TV, she was his daughter, Nora West-Allen (played by Jessica Parker Kennedy).
XS made her first apperance on The CW series Supergirl crossover episode, "Crisis on Earth-X, Part 1," (season 3, episode 8, 27 Nov. 2017). Her first appearance on The Flash was "The Elongated Knight Rises," (season 4, episode 11, 23 Jan. 2018). Throughout season 4, she appeared several times but remained a mystery.
XS became a regular character on season 5 of The Flash. She was ultimately erased from existence due to events that changed their timeline (season 5, episode 22).
In "What's Past Is Prologue" (season 5, episode 8; 4 Dec. 2018), the Reverse-Flash mentions a different name for Barry's daughter: Dawn. In the same episode, at another point in time, the AI called Gideon mentions that XS was the "5th recruit in the rebooted [Legion]."
Supergirl, lest we forget, was also a Legionnaire! On her television show, several Legion characters have been featured or referenced.
On Supergirl, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) does appear, but infrequently. The world of Supergirl is designated Earth-38 (season 4, episode 9); it does not share continuity with other "Arrowverse" shows because it's first season aired on CBS, not The CW.
Mon-El and the Daxamites
On Supergirl, the character of Mon-El was introduced as a love interest for the title heroine. Unlike in the comic book universe, Mon-El's home planet, Daxam, was a sister planet of Krypton and the two worlds had a legendary rivalry.
Mon-El first appeared in "The Adventures of Supergirl" (Supergirl season 2, episode 1, air date 10 Oct. 2016) when Kara found an unknown young man lying unconscious in an alien pod.
His identity was revealed in episode 3, when Mon-El revealed that he had powers similar to Supergirl's. Kara was uncharacteristically hostile towards him, prejudging his intentions because of the long feud between the Kryptonians and Daxamites. She later learned that he was also the prince of Daxam's ruling family.
It didn't help that MonEl behaved like a typical irresponsible Earth frat boy. But over time he recognized the responsibility of his abilities and the two grew closer, even romantic.
In episode 15, his parents came to Earth, secretly with the intent to conquer it. Mon-El was forced to side against his new friends against his own mother Rhea (played by Teri Hatcher). In the season finale (episode 22), Rhea was defeated when Supergirl and her friends learned that Daxamites were allergic to lead. They dispersed the element in the atmosphere. To save Mon-El, Kara put him into a pod, which was drawn into a wormhole. Note: This character is only ever called "Mon-El," never "Lar Gand." On the show, "Lar Gand" is the name of his father.
The Legion and Imra
In season 3, episode 7 (20 Nov. 2017), Mon-El returned having spent seven years in the 31st century, with "the Legion." The Legion was inspired by Mon-El's time with Supergirl; he helped unify various worlds. The Legion's ship crashed to Earth and Supergirl found him and others in stasis tanks aboard. When one tank malfuncitons, they are forced to open and free its occupant: Mon-El's wife, Imra. Notes: No other Legionniares were identifiable. Imra is not called "Saturn Girl."
Imra was a founding member of the the Legion, a group of super-heroes. She and Mon-El were drawn into Supergirl's battle with Reign.
Over the course of the season, Mon-El repaired the Legion's ship, and also revealed more about the circumstances of his marriage to Imra, which were not exactly traditional.
In the season 3 finale (18 June 2018), the heroes defeated Reign. Mon-El and Imra piloted the Legion ship back to the future but Brainiac 5 decided to stay with Supergirl. Her ally, Winn Schott, agreed to take his place with the Legion. Note: Winn was created for the television series. He is the son of a classic Superman villain, the Toyman (Winslow Schott).
Also freed from the Legion ship was their Coluan member, Brainiac 5 (season 3, episode 10), with whom Supergirl developed a friendship. Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath) continued to star in season 4 of Supergirl, as an operative in the DEO. He mostly appeared with his green skin masked, appearing human.
3/6/19 - Brainiac 5 mentions being taught martial arts by "Val"; Dreamer reminds him that she knows he's met her descendant in the 31st century.
4 14 loses his Legion ring
Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) became a reporter at CatCo in the season 4 premiere and confided to James Olsen that she was transgender in the next episode.
12/3/18 - Brainiac 5 mentions "Nura" when speaking to Nia; 21st century description of Naltor
2/17/19 - Dreamer appears in costume
Points of Legion Homage
A major throughline in the series is one of Earth people's struggle to integrate the refugee aliens who have settled there. Aliens disguise themselves in public be wearing "image inducers" made by Lena Luthor's company, L-Corp. Supergirl is a key agent for healing these tensions. Some alien characters come from planets in the Legion universe (in the future United Planets), including:
- The President of the United States, Olivia Marsdin (Lynda Carter) was from Durla (season 2, episode 21). She signed the Alien Amnesty Act in season 2, episode 3 and was exposed as an alien herself in season 4's premiere.
- Lyra Strayd was an alien refugee from Starhaven and a reformed thief. She began a romantic relationship with Winn Schott and Supergirl's friends (season 2, episode 13). She also had a brother, Bastian, on Earth. Lyra mentions that Starhaven has been destroyed by the Blight, which is what brought them to Earth. Note: Starhaven is the home of Legionnaire Dawnstar, but Lyra displays no connection to that winged race of the 30th century. In the same episode, the planet Lallor is mentioned.
- In season 4, episode ??, an alien from Dryad was revealed to be working at CatCo (Dryad is the home to Legionnaire Blok).